Big changes may be coming at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Newport. How big of a change and how much it might cost are two aspects that are still high in the air and make take a while to come down to earth. But the process of investigating how to put the fairgrounds to work for the area is about to be launched.
The Lincoln County Fair Board and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners are about to solicit ideas from a number of nationwide consultants who specialize in creating what Newport and the county thinks they need; a large INDOOR gathering place for people, whether it’s for the annual Seafood and Wine Festival (which needs 60,000 square-feet), the Lincoln County Fair, Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, small to medium-sized conventions or association meetings, 4-H, indoor soccer, farmers markets, traveling sportsmans events or exhibits, anything that brings people to the coast and pumps up hotel and motel room taxes.
The county and the city of Newport have been exploring how to put at least part of Newport’s million dollar “tourism facility” fund to work at the fairgrounds. The city has already formed a committee to award grants to worthy tourism facilities already in existence or yet to be built.
Once a consultant has been hired by the county, it will go to work exploring the kind of fairgrounds “multi-purpose” facility would do what the community wants it to do; enhance tourism. Obviously, the process will take some time.